In your journey to lose weight, preparing a meal plan is one of the basic tasks which you will have to undertake in order to succeed.
Meal plans are the building blocks of a weight loss regimen that works.
In Nigeria, due to the expensive nature of weight loss foods, the development of a meal plan that works while on a tight budget is something that has to take some careful planning, ingenuity and even in some cases sacrifices on other things which you could want but is not essential to your survival.
This is most telling especially on those who have a fixed budget.
Majority of the working population in Nigeria are salary earners. So is the percentage of those who desire to lose weight.
As such, those on a fixed income have to take critical steps towards ensuring that the meal plan can indeed be possible especially in today’s Nigeria.
The following are steps that you can take towards developing a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria:
1. Buy things in bulk
We all know that when you buy things in bulk, they are usually cheaper than when you buy things in piecemeal. Bulk buying always has this advantage.
Discounts would always be obtained on the things that when bought in bulk.
This is a money saving tip you can employ when planning a meal budget as regards weight loss.
When you also buy in bulk consistently from a specific trader or set of traders you will always get those special discounts and other incentives that the trader will always give or get due to the fact that you’re his or her customer.
Buying in bulk also reduces the commute time to the markets per month which are especially critical for those who are busy and have jobs which do not allow them to do other things with their time.
Bulk buyers also are the first to get information on new arrivals.
This kind of information is important, especially where fruits and vegetables are concerned.
2. Buy economical foods
There are certain foods in Nigeria that are weight loss friendly in terms of the kinds of carbs they are by nature and the kinds of nutrients.
They range from your okra and ogbonno to fruits and vegetables (if you reside in Lagos try the mile 12 market).
These economical foods are even hearted friendly as well and off the best in fiber, minerals, and vitamins which make up for a healthy diet.
When developing a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria, it is important to know which foods are always economical and which foods are not and to understand their calorie value to your diet.
This is the most important thing to do when considering a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria.
3. Buy foods that are in season
It is good to take note when foods are in season. This is how many people are able to survive in an economy where everything occurs in cycles.
If you understand the planting season of certain foods, you will know when the prices of such will drop and how best to take advantage of that.
You should also note when such foods are going out of stock nationally; meaning that the timing of your purchases has to be in sync with the planting and harvesting cycles of the farmer.
The best way to ascertain this would be to ask your trader whom you buy things from if it is the season for a specific food which you want to buy in bulk.
Those traders often have the native knowledge of their businesses hence the successes that such native traders experience.
You can use that native knowledge to develop a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria!
4. Find ways to preserve your food in storage
Preserving foods which you buy in bulk and that you buy in the season is a sure way to keep to your meal plan without hurting your pocket.
Preservation techniques that work well in Africa in general and in Nigeria to be precise are those that do not need the interventions of technology.
This is due to the power problems that we often face in Nigeria and as such techniques that can work without power need to be harnessed to be able to ensure proper preservation without the fear of loss.
5. Package bulk foods that you cook into smaller packs and freeze them
This, of course, prevents overeating and also it keeps your consumption rate to be lower than usual as you would watch what you eat when you eat.
Meal plans are not just about the calorie content of the food.
They are also about the meal quantity.
When you cook in bulk and package them, it also saves you the stress of having to cook over and over again.
You can simply select what you want to eat and warm it or microwave it without the need to resort to having to cook everything from scratch.
6. Be careful about throwing away foods
There exist no reasons to throw away foods that have not spoilt.
This is because developing a healthy meal plan on a budget in Nigeria would need your having to be frugal in your use of foods.
Some people throw away foods simply because they feel that they have to eat something different every day.
Sometimes, you could just put away what you have not consumed in the fridge and reheat it the next day saving you money and even time when you are in a rush to the office.
Foods that require constant recooking are those that you can throw away as they tend to spoil easily.
7. Use recipes that are simple to prepare
We all know that the more complex a recipe is, the more ingredients involved in preparation.
As such, your cost would rise higher than normal when it comes to developing a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria.
You can either prepare your own recipes or use other people’s recipes. Especially that of a dietician can be adapted to your own unique situation or preferences.
Using recipes which are simple to prepare goes to show how well prepared you are for having a proper meal plan on a budget in Nigeria.
When it comes to the development of a proper meal plan, apart from frugality, you would always have to look for some form of creativity to add to your frugality.
This is because meal plans are not cast in stone.
Having some variety from time to time won’t hurt your meal planning; it would only enhance it.
Do you have any other methods, means or practices that people can employ when developing a proper meal plan in Nigeria?
How do you go about it? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below!
Written by: Christopher Haruna Hamman is a strategist, Writer, and Entrepreneur. He also writes extensively for internet, publishing, film, and television.